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Media Activism & Independent Media News

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The Western States Petroleum Association and big oil companies peddle their influence through a variety of means, from campaign spending and lobbying legislators to creating astroturf groups and sponsoring business-friendly journalistic events. Numerous media events are paid for by oil dollars, earning the companies favorable mentions by journalistic organizations. Meanwhile, a total of 897 oil drilling permits have been approved thus far in 2023.
Fri Feb 17 2023 (Updated 02/21/23)
No Free Speech or Democracy with Oligarchy
On October 27, Elon Musk purchased the social media company Twitter for $44 billion. He proceeded to gut infrastructure and slash workers, including unionized janitorial staff. Musk welcomed back avowed neo-Nazis while banning leftist accounts and critical journalists. A series of protests have been held at Twitter's headquarters in San Francisco. A huge mural was painted on the street: "No Free Speech or Democracy with Oligarchy."
Even though KPFA was not a party in the matter, US Marshals seized $305,000 of KPFA’s cash reserves to pay for a monetary judgment against the Pacifica Foundation, its parent organization. The asset seizure resulted from a defamation lawsuit filed by John Vernile, former director of Pacifica, against programmers of WBAI in New York. Pacifica lawyers filed an appeal against the judgement, but KPFA is now facing layoffs and a massive budget shortfall.
International Human Rights Day was marked on December 10 by a diverse protest at San Francisco's Federal Building, calling out worldwide crimes against humanity. Countries and policies targeted were the US-supported Saudi war in Yemen, fascists in Myanmar, Israeli colonization of Palestine, attacks against the free press, police brutality, and the US Supreme Court's attack on women. Protesters later marched to a second rally at Powell and Market Streets.
Thu Oct 21 2021 (Updated 10/23/21)
Facebook Lies Cost Lives
On October 17, a caravan of 20 autos parked in front of Mark Zuckerberg's Palo Alto home so protesters could honk loudly and deliver a pink slip to the Facebook CEO while chanting, "Mark, You’re Fired!" The protest came on the heals of whistleblower Frances Haugen’s testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee. Haugen, a former Facebook employee, told senators the social media giant's products "harm children, stoke division, and weaken our democracy."
Thu Sep 24 2020 (Updated 09/25/20)
Facebook Blocks Wet’suwet’en Defenders
Facebook blocked hundreds of accounts days before a September 21 online event targeting the Coastal GasLink pipeline. The pipeline is set to cut through sovereign Wet’suwet’en land, defiantly ignoring hereditary chiefs of their rights, title, and consent for the project. The project would lock in decades of increased fracked gas and the impacts to climate, air, water and the risks posed to Indigenous camps built along the route.
Citing a pattern of consistent stonewalling, investigative journalists have taken the Oakland Police Department to court to force it to comply with state public records laws. Two petitions brought in Alameda County Superior Court claim the department routinely ignores public records requests, professing a commitment to transparency even as thousands of open Public Records Act requests languish in their system. One petition claims the department offers only an automatic response to thousands of requests — if it replies at all.
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